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Whaley House Museum
His family owned a successful hardware and woodworking business in New York City. When he arrived in California, he set up a store attached to his house where he sold his family's products. He too was very successful and later in life got into real estate. The house remained in the family until 1953 when his daughter, Lillian, passed away. SOHO obtained the house in 2000. The museum is undergoing a major restoration project which is to be completed in about ten years.
The Whaley House is also renowned for the alleged hauntings that have been reported at the site, many of which have been presented by the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted and many other TV shows and books. One figure believed to haunt the house is that of James “Yankee Jim” Robinson, who had been hanged at the same site before the Whaley House was built. Robinson had been convicted of attempting grand larceny in San Diego in 1852. Thomas Waley was aware of this when he bought the property a few years later, and as soon as the Whaleys moved into their home they began to hear heavy footsteps on the floorboards and would witness windows unlocking and opening themselves – all of which was believed to have been caused by Robinson’s spirit. Other sightings within the house and courtyard include the ghosts of Thomas and Anna Whaley, who had taken the suicide of their daughter, Violet, in 1885 particularly badly. Even animals are believed to haunt the home – there have been a number of sightings of the Whaley’s fox terrier, Dolly Varden, running through the dining room. Ghost hunting tours are organized by the Whaley House Museum each month, and are especially popular around Halloween.
Sources"Family History." Whaley House Museum. Accessed May 29, 2015. http://whaleyhouse.org/familyhistory.htm.
"History & Restoration." Whaley House Museum. Accessed May 29, 2015. http://whaleyhouse.org/familyhistory.htm.
“Haunted Folklore.” Whaley House Museum. Accessed August 2016. http://whaleyhouse.org/hauntedfolklore.htm.
San Diego, CA 92110
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